Back when he was the general manager of Betony in New York City, Eamon Rockey was known for sharing his love for a largely forgotten historical cocktail: milk punch. Two years after Betony closed, he released Rockey's Milk Punch, bringing clarified milk punch from relative obscurity to the huddled masses yearning for a new, fun botanical liqueur.
At its core, milk punch combines a spirit with citrus, tea and milk, and after the milk curdles, the mixture is then strained to make clarified milk punch. The result is a silky, crystal-clear drink—Rockey’s bottled liqueur version removes all the legwork from the mix, and the cocktail possibilities are seemingly endless. This one, for example, combines Rockey’s with rum, pineapple and fresh lime juice for a refreshing swizzle likely to convert any skeptic.
“The versatility of clarified milk punch is unmatched,” says wine and spirits writer and expert Shanika Hillocks. “In my opinion, Rockey’s is a sophisticated nod to BYOB because any spirit can be incorporated and all palates can enjoy it.” Depending on the cocktail’s variables, Hillocks notes that one can easily coax out a range of different flavors from the liqueur, from floral and fruity to tart citrus and soft nuttiness.
What’s great about the Rockey’s & Rum Swizzle (aside from the obvious) is that it’s built directly inside the glass—an easy and straightforward style that minimizes the amount of dishes left to clean afterward. According to Hillocks, the swizzle is quintessentially West Indian and is a testament to the Caribbean approach to life. “[It’s about] using what's around us and in our backyards and leveling up. It’s sustainability and local sourcing before it was a thing,” she adds.
Though it’s best known as the national drink of Bermuda, the Rum Swizzle (and the Rockey’s variation thereof) is just too good to be confined to one lone island. For Hillocks, it’s all about the scenery—when asked to describe her ideal setting for sipping an ice cold Rockey’s & Rum Swizzle. “It would have to be one of my favorite places in the world—the Blue Lagoon in Portland, Jamaica. Ideally with Michael B. Jordan.”
This recipe originally appeared as part of “A Bartender Put Milk Punch in a Bottle. So Everyone Could Try It.”
- 1 ounce Rockey’s Milk Punch liqueur
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Add all the ingredients into pineapple-shaped or Mason jar.
Add crushed or cracked ice and swizzle to chill.
Serve with a reusable straw.